The first park I activated that day was Parc de la Plage-Jacques-Cartier (VE-0970)–click here to check out my full field report and activation video. I managed to complete that activation in record time, during poor band conditions with the Elecraft AX1 antenna. In short? It was a blast!
I knew, however, that band conditions would likely only deteriorate that day and each subsequent activation could become more difficult to complete (spoiler alert: it did).
I scheduled Parc Cartier-Roberval (VE-0964) to be the second park of the day and was prepared to slog it out, but fortunately, the bands had not collapsed yet and this activation had a few surprises in store!
Parc Cartier-Roberval (VE-0964)
My family actually visited Parc Cartier-Roberval the previous week while in the Sainte-Foy area.
The park is chock-full of history as it is also associated with an archaeological site exploring the first French colonists to arrive in America by Jacques Cartier and Jean-François de La Rocque de Roberval from 1541 to 1543.
There are some beautiful and informative displays on the west side of the park, near the railroad tracks.
There’s also a beautiful, immersive display that ends with a stunning overlook.
Since I was on a schedule, I left the overlook and walked to the eastern part of the park.
When I visited the park the previous week, I had no time to perform an activation–in fact, we were in the Sainte-Foy area to visit a CLSC (regional medical center) and didn’t want to miss our appointment time.
Side note: Why were we visiting a CLSC the previous week? My wife cut her finger a few days prior; it was severe enough to require a visit to the hospital and six stitches. Our CLSC visit was to have a nurse check out her finger and change the bandage. The medical care we got was first class–within a week (two days after this activation) the stitches were removed and we were given the green light to do some camping up the north coast of the St. Lawrence. She had to change her bandages frequently for a full month, but looking at her finger now, you’d never know she’d cut it. Turns out, Québec is a great place to have a medical emergency!
But back to the activation…
Another thing worth noting is that Parc Cartier-Roberval was an ATNO (All-Time New One) the day I performed the activation. I was a bit surprised because this park is so accessible and there are loads of spots to activate from the parking lot, to trails and even a nice picnic table.
I deployed my Tufteln EFRW random wire antenna and paired it with the Elecraft KX2. This made for a super simple, quick-to-deploy station.
- Elecraft KX2 and KXPD2 Paddles
- tufteln EFRW QRP Antenna Long Wire
- Moleskine Cahier Journal (affiliate link)
- Tom Bihn Synapse 25 backpack
- Mini Arborist throw line kit: Tom Bihn Small Travel Tray, Marlow KF1050 Excel 2mm Throwline, and Weaver 8 or 10oz weight
- Rite In The Rain Weatherproof Cover/Pouch (affiliate link)
- GraphGear 0.9mm 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil (affiliate link)
- N0RNM homemade 3D-printed knee board
- Camera: OSMO Action Camera (affiliate link)
- Folding camp chair from ALDI
On The Air
I hopped on the air and started calling CQ on 20 meters. In fact, I hoped that I could complete the entire activation on 20 meters. Flaring had wiped out 40 meters that day, so the higher bands were the only bands of refuge at least at my latitude.
Almost immediately after spotting myself, I started working stations. Within 7 minutes, I worked the ten stations needed for a valid park activation.
I was not expecting this! Amazing!
I logged an additional nine stations in 9 minutes, for a final tally of 19. It was so fun to work so many familiar calls in the POTA family!
The big surprise? Working stations as far east as France and far west as Alaska with 5 watts and a random wire. So much fun!
Here’s what this activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map (click image to enlarge):
Here’s my real-time, real-life video of the entire activation. As with all of my videos, there are no ads and I don’t edit out any parts of the on-air activation time:
No doubt, the fact that I was activating an All-Time New One had a positive impact on this activation. Still, I believe I also hit a short opening on the 20 meter band–a moment with some sense of band stability.
Unfortunately, I was not as lucky at the following activation that day. It was also an ATNO as well, but our local star decided to make it more challenging! That said, there were also a few surprises in that activation. Stay tuned for the next field report!
I hope you enjoyed the field report and my activation video as much as I enjoyed creating them. As I’ve mentioned before, I truly love reliving each activation while putting together the field report, notes, logs, photos, links, and video. In many ways, I feel each field report is a travelogue.
Of course, I’d also like to send a special thanks to those of you who have been supporting the site and channel through Patreon and the Coffee Fund. While certainly not a requirement as my content will always be free, I really appreciate the support.
In fact, your support is what has made this extended family road trip to Canada possible. I apply any funds above and beyond the costs of running the website, producing the videos, and purchasing review equipment, to our family travel fund. This not only gives me an opportunity to play radio well outside my home area, but my family also gets to benefit from the work I put into producing activation videos and content on QRPer.com.
Thank you so very much!
Cheers & 72,
Thomas (VY2SW / K4SWL)